Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

writing for children

No, I don’t speak Français.

I don’t even think that I Écriture it correctly.

But I can translate, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” thanks to google. Here you go:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

So the more evil there is in the world, the more of God’s power and Grace we need to stand against it.

This is true. It has always been true.

And no matter how much things change, this statement will always be true.

We must be a voice for the voiceless.

http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview

 

 

 

Try, Try Again

writing for children

If today had been a fishing day, I would NOT be having a fish fry. More like a drowned worm party!

I have been trying to find a blog post that felt right for today. But… nothing has felt like the best fit. So I have kept trying to find the right fit. I can’t say that one thing is better than the other, it’s just a feeling I have when I am blogging. I know what I’m supposed to write and what I’m not… most of the time. So here I am, writing about revising… since that is what I’ve been doing with this post. Honestly, it’s what I do with most of my posts. I feel like I spend a lot of time drowning worms. Eventually, though, I do haul in a good catch!

For example, the posign of a good manuscriptst I wrote on Love, Crochet and Boogers took me well over a week to write. I was very excited about posting it, but knew it needed revision… lots of it. Every day I tweaked it a little more until it felt right – then I had to revise a huge chunk of it.

That’s how it is most of the time with my stories. I tweak here… I tweak there… I tweak a little everywhere. And sometimes tweaking turns into full blown revision.

And full blown revision is frustrating and painful… but necessary.

Full blown revision is often the only thing that can save our manuscripts.

Have you ever had a story you had to overhaul completely? I have had a few. But I had to step back from them for a while before I realized how much I needed to do it.

For this post, I looked up some other posts on revision. Here is one of my favorites so far:

“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” — Roald Dahl

For more thoughts on revision, check out this blog post by Emily Temple: Great Writers on the Art of Revision.

And this compilation: Quotes on Editing

What about you? Got any good quotes or helpful links on revision? How about your own ideas? How do you address it in your own writing? We all know that sometimes you have to drown a few worms to catch a good fish. So how many worms do you usually drown before your fishnet is full?

Has Writing Become Drudgery?

writing for children

Want to write – but feel stuck in a rut?  I came across these gems tonight to help put some skip in your writing steps!

1. Random writing prompts generator http://www.languageisavirus.com/writing_prompts.html  You can click a button for random writing prompts. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

2. Name generator! http://www.languageisavirus.com/characternamegenerator.html  It’s fun and you might figure out a cool name!

3. It is labeled as prompts for middle-schoolers – but can be great for adult writers, too! http://journalbuddies.com/journal_prompts__journal_topics/fun-writing-prompts-for-middle-school/

 

My fave is the name generator! Here are a few that I liked the best  because these names just sound like they need a story written about them!

Idana Moon Maylin

Mircea Bat Rumor

Dorie Kreeli Lark

Early Independence Jesimae

Morey Lore Brilliant

Modesty Morrie Wind

 

Have fun!

Love, Crochet and Boogers

writing for children

I like Pinterest. It’s fun. It’s cool. I could hang out there for hours.

But I will never be at the “Pinterest-Perfect table”. Not for crocheting. Not for cooking. Not for marriage. Not for parenting. Not for housekeeping, writing, running. Not for anything.

Let me explain…

Sidenote: Be prepared, this is one of the longest posts I’ve written in a while. Go get a cup of coffee. Maybe a blanket. Shoot, you might want to order a pizza. And – if you get to the end and think it is an anti-pinterest post, read it again. You missed the point. Anyway, I digress. Back to the post…

***********

Recently, I started a new crochet project, and I was really, really excited!

I had new yarn, just the right needles and an idea that was going to become reality.

This, my friends, was going to be PINTEREST worthy. It was going to be pinned again, and again, and again… and I was going to be able to point to my project and say, “THIS. This is how you do it, folks!”

But about halfway through the crochet project, I saw that I’d messed up. There were holes in places that were obviously not where they were supposed to be. And I didn’t know how to fix them.

The yarn didn’t look like I thought it would. And in places, it was thinner than it should be.
I also saw that it was taking a lot longer to get my project finished than I had originally thought. I was getting tired. VERY tired. I started to give up a few times on the hot mess I had created.

It was not the perfect project like I’d planned.
***
Often, we look at life like I did my crochet project. We look at it as something that will turn out exactly as we imagined. Something perfect. Something that will transcend time and space, begging poets and musicians to write about us. It’s like we want to point at our marriages, our friendships, our jobs, our children and say, “See? We did it right! Perfect!”

It’s as if we want our life to be Pinterest-worthy so we can show the world how perfect it is. And if our little project goes viral? Well, that would be okay, too. Right?

Wrong.

Families, marriages, relationships, jobs, children… they can’t be framed, put on a shelf, or folded up in just the right way to parade in front of all the other people at the Pinterest-Perfect table.

Truth be told, if you look under that “Pinterest-perfect” table, there are wads of gum and boogers and other stuff stuck underneath, hidden from view. We hide the boogers with pretty, but fake smiles and dissuade folks from looking behind the curtain, lest they recognize the mess that is most certainly underneath the ribbons and bows. What if someone else were to recognize their own mess in our hot mess?

Relationships are hard. Jobs are hard. Parenting is hard. It all takes work. So why do we pretend that it doesn’t?

For example – marriage. Chances are, you are either married now, have been married, or know someone who is or has been married. So take another sip of your coffee and let’s talk about that topic for a minute…

Let’s be honest – marriage doesn’t always look like some steamy romance on the orient express. Sometimes it is pushing through the dirty diapers, late night arguments and early morning blahs. Sometimes marriage looks like a super-messy kitchen, rolling coins to buy groceries and trying really, really hard to sleep when your spouse’s snores have obliterated a small country.

Sometimes marriage has the excitement of a roller coaster, a day at the beach or a day hike along your favorite mountain trail. It is a snuggle on the couch, a kiss on the forehead and a whispered, “I love you” when you need it the most. It can be like your favorite t-shirt. The one with all the holes that you wear as often as possible because is it your favorite t-shirt ever. It’s got holes, it needs a good washing… like I said, it’s your favorite. Yeah… you know the one I’m talking about!

Some days, marriage can look like a stroll  in the park or a game of MarioKart followed by a chocolate shake from Dairy Queen. It can look like spring cleaning and listening to the oldies, with an impromptu dance in the kitchen. Or it can look like sitting in the same room, mad as fire, refusing to talk until the other person apologizes. Yeah… it can look like all that.

The good, the bad and ugly… marriage has it all.

And unfortunately, sometimes the mess is just too much. And in those instances, sometimes there are too many holes — and they are just too big. And sometimes, there is too much ugliness… and not enough love. And if the bad outweighs the good, sometimes marriages (like all relationships) can unravel past the point of repair.

But I don’t know anyone who enjoys going through that.  It’s hard and it hurts. Many people I love have walked that road — and it was not an easy one to travel. And I, for one, can’t throw any stones. Can you?

Because much like Pinterest, marriage is often full of fails. But it’s not just marriage. It’s all relationships. We can get caught up in ourselves and how our lives look to outsiders instead of focusing on how to love each other better.

We are a society full of people who need the Lord’s grace, mercy and forgiveness more than we need anything or anyone else… but we aren’t always willing to admit that. And why? Because we would have to admit that we aren’t perfect.

But life is not a project. It is an intimate journey that has to be walked in honesty. Marriage, parenting, friendships, jobs… you name it… we have to walk it together. And we have to decide not to be afraid to be real about the mess under the table — the gum, boogers, holes and all. That’s the only way it will work. It’s the only way we can grow.
***

As for that crochet project I started? It’s for my Pookie Bear. He asked me to make a small cover for him to put in his truck on cold days when his legs get chilly. It is complete now, and he loves it.

And guess what? It’s still not perfect. It’s got holes in places it shouldn’t. It doesn’t look like I thought it would in my head. And I’m pretty sure it’s lopsided.  But… 

It was made with love – and love covers a lot.

As for that Pinterest Perfect table? It doesn’t really exist. Not for marriage. Not for relationships. Not for jobs. Not even for a craft project that looks perfect to everyone else’s eyes.

Fuggetabout it!

Instead, we need to get to know the One who loves us in the midst of our imperfections. And He has set a table big enough for everyone…. with our boogers, holes and all. Pull up a chair. There’s plenty of room. He’s got you covered.

1 Peter 4:8-11The Message (MSG) 7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
I Corinthians 13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

January Blues…

writing for children

I love January, but my sweet homeschool kiddos don’t seem to love it quite as much. Thus, a blues poem for my girls and all the students who wish they were still on  Christmas vacation…

 

School is in session

Equations are flying

Students are moaning

Brain cells are frying

Reading and painting

Dividing and typing

it all would be great

if there weren’t so much griping!

 

I think we need brownies

to sweeten the moods…

with four scoops of some ice cream

to chill out the ‘tudes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January is here — and I’m loving it!

writing for children

It’s strange. From October to December, there seems to be very little time to do much other than marvel at how fast time flies. I do as much as I can to get done what needs to be done. I love that time of year, even the hustle and bustle of it all.

But from January to February 14, time slows down and gives me a chance to breathe in the air. And it’s not just regular air… it’s a new year’s supply of air. It’s like super-oxygen and I feel like a superhero!

heroic thoughtsI have a new year with bright beginnings. New chances to make things right.

I have a new school semester. Chances for fresh adventures and new subjects to explore.

I know that January is “just another month”. But there is something special about it for me. I like January. It feels clean. Like a notebook that has yet to be written in, but with lots and lots of white space.

Creation. I am part of it. You are part of it. We are all part of it. And… we are all called to be creative in some form or another!

So this January is my month to start fresh, to start creating again. I’ve already been working on several projects and hope to have some done in the next two months.

What are you working on? What have you been called to create?

Resolutions?

writing for children

I had someone ask me last night what my “new year’s resolutions” are for 2015.

I replied, “I don’t usually make them.”

They insisted that I must.

So I replied, “My resolution is to NOT make New Year’s resolutions.”

Everyone in the room laughed and pointed out that my resolution was a resolution FAIL. I’d already broken it!

They were right. And I was (and am) okay with it. I really don’t make resolutions. I have some goals in mind, but I don’t live my life in fear that I might fail if I don’t accomplish them.

And though I don’t usually make resolutions, there are a few things I do want to do this year. They are listed below.

1. Lovecropped-water-cross.jpg more – especially when I want to pitch a hissy.

2. Show more grace to others (and myself), especially when grace is the last thing on my mind.

3. When in doubt, refer to one and two.

I’d love to hear your resolutions. I’ll support you in your endeavors. Pray for me in mine, please! :)

NEW YEAR’S BLESSINGS!

writing for children
From my heart to yours…

May your year be glorious

and may you find where you belong

May your steps all have a spring

and may your lips be laced with song

May you always see the good

and may your days be filled with grace

May your love be overflowing…

as you seek the Savior’s face!

Donna Earnhardt Jan 1, 2015

Thinking Out loud about the College Conundrum in America

writing for children
cropped-cropped-reedycreek-019-e13497171359711.jpgWarning… this is long, but really not a rant, just an observation after reading a ton of articles about the current job market, watching the news for the last few years and talking to young folks that I know and love.

How can we expect our high school students to have their careers and direction for their life planned out when a lot of us don’t figure it out until we are well into our adulthood years?

Seriously, look at all the colleges that are wooing adults now! They want adults to come back and get a degree, or an additional degree. And my understanding is that you don’t have to take the SAT or ACT to be admitted. You can take classes, then earn your way toward a college diploma. I personally think it is WONDERFUL. I really do. It’s a chance to take a different direction. A chance to learn something new and start fresh.
And right now, there is too much stress placed on our teen students to make the perfect grades, ace the mountain of tests placed before them so they can make sure they don’t “screw up” their chances of getting in to the “right” college. I believe that attitude births more harm than good. A four year education is not the only option out there. Technical schools, community colleges, art schools, etc… they are all viable (and good options) that can prepare someone for good jobs and further education at other universities, if they choose to continue that path. We should encourage them to do their best, but when we push them to a breaking point? No one deserves that.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a 4 year degree from ASU (Psychology/concentration Rehabilitation with a minor in music). But now? I am a writer and a homeschooling mama. I am super-glad to have attended the school that I did, and super-glad I was able to attend right after high school. But I don’t think that a 4 year degree is worth the same as it once was. I am not saying it is useless… just saying it not the only option out there.
Our high school graduates are able to go to more career-targeted schools, get the education they need to get a job, and then GET a job. They can then opt to go back to school for more education, or get what they need as they go through online classes, workshops/conferences and certification classes/ongoing education classes that are sometimes paid for by employers.
And lest I’m misunderstood (which is likely), I do think four year colleges are good. I like them. I graduated from one. (GO ASU!!) But they are not the only option for today’s young adults (or adults of any age) when considering how to approach the adult-workforce, how to find God’s call on their lives, and how best to use their gifts and resources to make this world a better place.
Observational non-rant over.

Creativity begets Creativity

writing for children

I am learning to crochet things like hats, scarves and amigurumi. Yes, amigurumi. This is a Japanese word for crocheted or knitted stuffed toy. They are sooo adorable! I am not fluent in that type of crocheting yet, but I do want to be one day. I think those little boogers are adorable! Here are a few examples from around the web:

Aren’t they precious??

This cuteness overload has inspired me to make my own. I can’t post what I’ve made yet, because they are for Christmas presents. But – I’ve been doing an awful lot of crocheting. And that has led to some good “thinking” time about my other creative outlets. I start imagining what kind of non-yarn-ish gifts I can make for my friends and family while creating this fun projects. Then, my mind turns to my stories. And then my messy house (no, it’s not a fun project, but a project, nonetheless.

I also brainstorm about how to organize my house in the most efficient manner in order to get all of my crafty stuff in here. My hubby has taken over the dining room with his hobby (bikes), so that’s out of the question. But I COULD clean out the hall closet and use it for what it’s supposed to be used.

Then I think about ways to make my life more time efficient. And I brainstorm about calendars, weight loss and exercise. (I tend to brainstorm a lot… have you noticed? :) )

I find that all the creative time I spend crocheting actually helps me with my other creative endeavors. Well, all except for the clean house part.

What are you creative outlets?